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On #BlackOutTuesday, Injustice Can’t Be Silenced

YSRP stands with the families and loved ones of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others who have been murdered by the state. In this moment of raw devastation, pain, and anger, which has been centuries in the making, we renew our commitment to dismantling one of the systems that creates and exacerbates this pain: the criminal justice system.

YSRP was founded 6 years ago on the belief that children do not belong in adult jails and prisons. Our goal is to transform the way the justice system treats children and, in Philly, primarily Black children. We believe that the criminal justice system is rooted in a legacy of slavery and white supremacy, which causes deep harm. At its core, the system does not value Black lives and Black dignity.

Our work, which we do in community, is to redress that harm, and to achieve racial justice. Surveillance, over-policing and brutalizing of Black people and neighborhoods by the police drives mass incarceration, and fills our jails and prisons with Black and Brown bodies.

Just last weekend, over 400 people were arrested as a result of the uprising in Philadelphia. Those who are detained and jailed will face the same circumstances as YSRP’s youth partners: they will be stripped of their humanity while locked in cages during a pandemic. If they are convicted, they will have diminished capacity to get a job or find safe housing, and access needed services. As we see through our work every day, for Black and Brown people, incarceration limits future opportunities in devastating ways.

We call on you to take action. Join us in supporting Philadelphia Bail Fund and Up Against the Law Legal Collective and other frontline leaders here in Philly, as well as Movement for Black Lives and other leaders across the country working to protect Black lives from state violence and white supremacy.

Now and always, #BlackLivesMatter.

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